Discretionary Options for Military Members, Enlistees and Their Families

We recognize the important sacrifices made by U.S. armed forces members, veterans, enlistees and their families. To support these individuals, we provide discretionary options such as parole in place or deferred action on a case-by-case basis.

Parole in Place

We may grant parole in place on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit under section 212(d)(5)(A) of the INA. You may be eligible for parole in place in 1-year increments if you are the spouse, widow(er), parent, son or daughter of:

  • An active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces;
  • An individual in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve; or
  • An individual who (whether still living or deceased) previously served on active duty or in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and was not dishonorably discharged.

If you entered the U.S. lawfully but overstayed your visa (or are otherwise in the U.S. past your period of authorized stay), you are not eligible for parole in place because you are not an applicant for admission. However, you may qualify for deferred action. See the Deferred Action section for more information.

To request parole in place, you must submit the following to the USCIS office with jurisdiction over your place of residence (military families on assignment in an area different from their permanent place of residence may submit their request to the office with jurisdiction over either location):

  • Marriage certificate
  • Documentation of termination of previous marriage
  • Son or daughter’s birth certificate
  • Military member’s birth certificate with parent’s name
  • Proof of enrollment in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS);
  • Evidence that your family member is a current or former member of the U.S. armed forces, such as a photocopy of the front and back of the service member’s military identification card or DD Form 214;
  • Two identical, color passport style photographs; and
  • Evidence of any additional favorable discretionary factors that you would like us to consider.

For information about parole in place and how to apply, see the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Chapter 21.1(c)(1).

Deferred Action

Deferred action is a form of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action (deportation) against an individual for a certain period of time. If we grant you deferred action, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considers you to be lawfully present in the U.S. for the period deferred action is in effect. Deferred action does not give you lawful status, nor does it excuse any past or future periods of unlawful presence.

Under existing regulations, if you are granted deferred action, you are eligible to apply for employment authorization for the period of deferred action if you can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.” DHS can terminate deferred action at any time, at its discretion.

You may be eligible for deferred action for up to 2 years if you are the spouse, widow(er), parent, son or daughter of:

  • An active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces;
  • An individual in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve; or
  • An individual who (whether still living or deceased) previously served on active duty or in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and was not dishonorably discharged.

In addition, Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program enlistees in the Department of Defense Delayed Entry Program (DEP) may be eligible for deferred action. Spouses, parents, sons and daughters of enlistees in DEP may also be eligible for deferred action.

To request deferred action, you must submit the following to the director of the USCIS office with jurisdiction over your place of residence (military families on assignment in an area different from their permanent place of residence may submit their request to the office with jurisdiction over either location):

  • A letter stating the basis for your deferred action request;
  • A copy of DD Form 4, Enlistment/Reenlistment Document;
  • Evidence of any additional factors supporting a favorable exercise of discretion in the form of deferred action;
  • Proof of family relationship, if applying based on family relationship to military member, veteran or enlistee, such as:
  • Marriage certificate
  • Documentation of termination of previous marriage
  • Son or daughter’s birth certificate
  • Military member’s birth certificate with parent’s name
  • Proof of enrollment in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS);
  • In the case of surviving family members, proof of residence in the U.S. at the time of the service member’s death;
  • Proof of identity and nationality;
  • If applicable, any document you used to lawfully enter the U.S.;
  • Form G-325A, Biographic Information; and
  • Two identical, color, passport-style photographs.

For information about deferred action and how to apply, see the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Chapter 21.1(c)(2).

Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program

Effective June 8, 2016, certain Filipino World War II veterans and their spouses who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may request parole for certain family members. For more information, see our Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program page.

Contact Us

If you or your family members have questions about discretionary options, please contact our toll-free Military Help Line at 877-CIS-4MIL (877-247-4645), TTY (800) 877-8339. For more information, see our Military Help Line page. You can also schedule an appointment online with a USCIS immigration officer.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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